COVID-19: KSRTC to operate 1,500 buses
After incurring revenue loss worth hundreds of crores due to non-operation of buses for over 50 days, the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) will resume services in all divisions on Tuesday.
In a press release, the KSRTC states that in the first phase, 1,500 schedules will be operated. There will be no changes in the fare structure. From Bengaluru, buses will be operated to Mysuru, Shivamogga, Davangere, Hassan and Mangaluru.
The release states that only non-AC buses will be operated between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. The public can also book tickets online. At bus stations, passengers’ body temperature will be checked and they must wear masks before boarding the bus.
A KSRTC official said, “For the time being, we are introducing point-to-point services. People have to come to departure points to board the bus. We are operating Karnataka Sarige and Rajahamsa during the day time.”
The KSRTC has a fleet of 7,000-odd non-AC buses. As per the decision of the State government, no-interstate buses will be operated. The buses will not halt en route for food. The passengers have been advised to bring food and water. The Corporation has insisted that the public carry their ID cards and travel with minimum luggage.
₹30 lakh insurance for bus crew
The government has announced ₹30 lakh compensation for kin of drivers and conductors in case of loss of life due to COVID-19. In a press release, Deputy Chief Minister and Transport Minister Laxman Savadi said that compensation will be issued through the Transport Department. In the wake of resumption of services on Tuesday, Mr. Savadi has appealed to the bus crew and the general public to follow health protocols and contain the spread of COVID-19 by wearing masks.
Private bus operators
On the other hand, private bus operators have decided not to operate buses because the government is yet to attend to their grievances.
“The State government has completely ignored us. We demand waiver of road tax for at least six months and thereafter, 50% tax for another six months. The operators have already incurred huge financial losses due to the lockdown. It would take another two years to recover,” said Nataraj Sharma, general secretary of Karnataka State Tourist Operators Association.